Effective Web Design and Development

Starting February 4th, I’ll be teaching a five week (one session per week) course on effective web design at Fanshawe College’s continuing education program.

The course is called “Effective Web Design and Development – COMP-1363“.

I’m breaking the five weeks up by doing foundational work first, and building on that work weekly. My idea is to build a very simple HTML website, using the fundamentals that we learn weekly to build upon each week’s lesson. At the end, the attendees will have a very simple, semantically correct, SEO optimized, modern, responsive, and accessible website.

Here’s what Fanshawe’s course outline says:

Effective web design and development is about more than code, and pretty pictures. This course is designed to help you understand the things required to build an effective website for yourself, your business, and your clients. This course will review strategies, software, marketing, promotion, content creation, and modern website design techniques while not requiring coding in-class time.


Vocational Course Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Differentiate between hosting and domain name options
  • Discuss options in web site layout, navigation and structure
  • Recognize differences between browser software, mobile and desktop
  • Understand appropriate layouts, markup, and frameworks
  • Select and host multimedia formats
  • Create appropriate images for a variety of devices
  • Build a solid content strategy
  • Understand site errors and plan for traffic and technology upgrades
  • Apply good Search Engine Optimization practices
  • Create a Search Engine Marketing strategy
  • Discuss the differences between design and development aspects of web site creation
  • Recognize the differences between Content Management Systems

The weeks will break down something like this:

Session 1 – Introduction and Foundation

  • What you’ll be able to do at the end of this course
  • What we will build
  • Essential Software
  • Different Types of Sites – Informational, Transactional, B2C, B2B
  • Analytics to Analyze Everything
  • Hosting Options and Domain Name Registrations
  • Files – Types, Sizes Unassigned
  • Techniques, Standards, and Languages
  • Structure of a Web Page
  • Frameworks vs Building from Scratch

Session 2 – Planning and Organization

  • Know your Audience
  • The Creative Brief
  • Effective Communication
  • Content First Design
  • Writing for the Web
  • Wireframing For Desktop
  • Wireframing for Mobile
  • Creating a Style Guide
  • Gathering Assets

Session 3 – Web Design Essentials

  • User Experience Design
  • Navigation
  • CSS and Frameworks
  • Javascript and Frameworks
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Forms and User Input
  • Gathering Email Addresses
  • Error pages
  • Browser Software and Versions
  • Troubleshooting Errors

Session 4 – Marketing and Tools

  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Building an Email List
  • Building an Audience
  • Content Management Tools
  • Shopping Cart Systems
  • API Essentials

Session 5 – Completing the Package

  • Writing for the Web
  • Creating Engagement – Take and Give
  • Building an Automated Email Campaign
  • Encouraging Interactivity – Comments, Likes, Retweets
  • Pitfalls and Things To Avoid
  • Security, Privacy, Safety
  • Mobile Applications
  • Planning for the Future

You can sign up for the class at Fanshawe’s Continuing Education programs on their website.

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